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James Cromwell Arrested During SeaWorld Protest

Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell was arrested at SeaWorld in San Diego during a PETA protest against treatment of orca whales on Monday, the animal rights organization said.

Cromwell and fellow protesters were handcuffed and taken into custody after the animal rights advocates crashed SeaWorld’s famous “Orca Encounter” whale show, PETA said in a statement to media outlets. Clad in a “SeaWorld Sucks” t-shirt and armed with a megaphone, the veteran actor and longtime activist informed the audience about the amusement park’s history of premature orca deaths and marine mammal suffering.

PETA live streamed the protest on its Facebook page. Variety has reached out to the San Diego Police Department for additional details.

“Orcas deserve a full life in the ocean, not a life sentence of swimming endless circles until they drop dead from disease,” Cromwell said in a statement. “My friends at PETA and I want SeaWorld to move these intelligent animals to seaside sanctuaries without delay.”

SeaWorld has seen considerable backlash in the past few years in regards to its treatment of orcas, especially following the release of 2013 documentary “Blackfish.” In response to the controversy, and declining revenue, the park announced last year that it would cease its practice of breeding orcas. “Orca Encounter” is a relatively new show, replacing SeaWorld’s previous spectacle which featured the orcas performing tricks and trainers riding the whales.

Last month, Cromwell was sentenced to a week in jail following his arrest during a power plant protest in New York back in 2015 after refusing to pay fines levied against him after his initial arrest. His credits include “Babe,” “American Horror Story,” “The Green Mile,” and “L.A. Confidential.”

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